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Locals want fireworks issue resolved quickly

In the News
Sunday, 7th August 2005 By Dan Ketteringham

Local businesses are calling for speedy negotiations to decide the future of the annual fireworks display.

The event has been in doubt since businessman Stephen Roper and his wife, Suzanne, who live at nearby Farley, won a court case aimed at controlling noise levels from the park and restricting firework displays.

Families and businesses in the area are worried for the future if restrictions are placed on the park.

They say the restrictions could cost businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds, as well as jobs.

Stephen Bradley, who runs the Chained Oak B&B with wife Elizabeth, is calling on all sides in the dispute to resolve their differences.

The couple are investing heavily in their business with new accommodation to open next season.

Mr Bradley said: "The sooner the end all this confusion over the future of Alton Towers then the better it will be for everyone.

"We are spending a lot of money. It is a fabulous park and it is good for the area.

"It would be a crying shame if anything was to happen. I would like to see the owners investing more into the park."

Sandra Venables, who has run The Malthouse guest house since taking over from her late father in the early 1990s, said: "We have already got the biggest and the best theme park in this country and we want to keep it.

"The theme park draws people into the area and they stay and then go out an explore places like the pottery factories and other attractions."

Dawn Edwards, who took over as manager of The White Hart, eight months ago, said: "It has been very quiet.

"It is very worrying and I am concerned about what is going to happen."

Meanwhile, theme bosses have dismissed reports there has been a 15 per cent rise in visitors to the theme park in the wake of the bombings in London.

The claim has been made by the British Hospitality Association (BHA).

A spokesman said: "I don't know where the figures have come from. Our numbers are on a par with what we were expecting."

Source: The Sentinel

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